consultant

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So I'm in the middle of a re-evaluation of the current state of Local SEO platforms and boy have some grown their feature set in a well thought-out way and others have glaring holes. Wondering opinions of other people on who the current "leader" is? This is some of the main criteria I evaluate on?

1. A table formatted citation status listing that includes some sort of authority rank Moz/DA/Alexa and covers say the top 20 directories.

Appears Brightlocal does this the best. Moz is interesting as it appears they have acknowledged that all you shoud be concerned with is a handful of the top data sources including the aggregators and the a few top directories whereas the other services like to give you the impression you really need their service because there's dozens of directories you're not in (that don't really matter - but they of course won't indicate that.) I was excited about Tribelocal due to the very clean interface and pricing structure but they don't show status for all directories I keep track of, they just give a submit option so you don't know if you are already in the directory! I think it is Yext and/or Whitespark don't give you any domain authority indicators so there's no way to sort the list and I think one of them doesn't even use a list format.

2. Can they track local keyword rankings for the location's city with good reporting and automated daily/weekly monitoring?

3. Do they make submitting citiations as easy as possibly by prefilling the forms as much as possible and using an API for submission as opposed to just sending you to the directory's website submit page?

4. Import of Google GMB listings. This is a huge time saver if you have a lot of locations to manage.


Without going into a big long review of each service, I can say, so far on iniital impression, BrightLocal looks far better than most other services when you factor feature-set with price. $79/month for up to 100 locations and they can be spread across multiple clients? Who even can come close to that. And their feature set looks like it has been grown in a very thoughtful fashion. I still have an affinity to Moz though but looks like BL has them beat!
 

Tim Colling

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  • I am a big fan of BrightLocal for reporting and for citations.
  • I also really like WhiteSpark for citations and I would probably like their reporting tools if I wasn't already using BL and satisfied with them.
  • Moz - I used to use Moz Local but honestly I think they're kind of expensive for what you get from them, at their current price levels. For the other Moz products, well, I haven't used those products in years, ever since they became very expensive, not as fully featured as others, and not as well supported as they were in the beginning.
 

JoshuaMackens

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So I'm in the middle of a re-evaluation of the current state of Local SEO platforms and boy have some grown their feature set in a well thought-out way and others have glaring holes. Wondering opinions of other people on who the current "leader" is? This is some of the main criteria I evaluate on?

1. A table formatted citation status listing that includes some sort of authority rank Moz/DA/Alexa and covers say the top 20 directories.

Appears Brightlocal does this the best. Moz is interesting as it appears they have acknowledged that all you shoud be concerned with is a handful of the top data sources including the aggregators and the a few top directories whereas the other services like to give you the impression you really need their service because there's dozens of directories you're not in (that don't really matter - but they of course won't indicate that.) I was excited about Tribelocal due to the very clean interface and pricing structure but they don't show status for all directories I keep track of, they just give a submit option so you don't know if you are already in the directory! I think it is Yext and/or Whitespark don't give you any domain authority indicators so there's no way to sort the list and I think one of them doesn't even use a list format.

2. Can they track local keyword rankings for the location's city with good reporting and automated daily/weekly monitoring?

3. Do they make submitting citiations as easy as possibly by prefilling the forms as much as possible and using an API for submission as opposed to just sending you to the directory's website submit page?

4. Import of Google GMB listings. This is a huge time saver if you have a lot of locations to manage.


Without going into a big long review of each service, I can say, so far on iniital impression, BrightLocal looks far better than most other services when you factor feature-set with price. $79/month for up to 100 locations and they can be spread across multiple clients? Who even can come close to that. And their feature set looks like it has been grown in a very thoughtful fashion. I still have an affinity to Moz though but looks like BL has them beat!

If you're asking about Local SEO platforms, you're probably best off using a hodgepodge. That's what I do.

But as to your question, most of the companies mentioned above don't do everything, they only do one thing really well.

Moz Local - aggregator submission
Whitespark - business listing submission
Yext - business listing submission
Tribelocal - I thought they only do business listing submission but honestly, I have no idea

The one that does a lot of things is BrightLocal. I know tons of people on LSF love them.

If you're truly asking about a total Local SEO platform, again, there probably isn't one. You should pull a little from here and little from there.

If you're asking about business listing submission (which most of the companies above are business listing submission) here's the criteria you should grade on:

a) pricing - one time fee vs recurring
b) ownership - do you get to keep your listings or are you renting aka have to pay every year or you lose your listings
c) quality of sites submitted to
d) quantity of sites submitted to
e) quality control - does anyone look over the order to make sure best practices are followed before listings are sent out, does anyone give recommendations, does someone do phone verifications for the bigger directories so their service is more complete than just random citations, is someone double checking listings at the end to make sure the team signed them up correctly, are any of them pending and do they actually end up going live or do they stay pending forever (happens with a lot of direct submission companies)
f) duplicate removal - we do this but I doubt any other service does this besides Yext and rumor is that it's an enterprise level service not available to anyone outside that level (not 100% on this)
f) Google index submission - are all listings submitted to Google for indexing
g) support - can you call and get an update on your order, if not can you email and get a relatively quick reply, will they fix any issues you're having

That's a pretty comprehensive list.

Also, just as a heads up, quality of sites across the board is going to be the same honestly across all services. Unless one of the services doesn't provide phone verification or a way around phone verification via partnerships (like Yext) which would then exclude the big directories like Google, Bing, Yelp, Yellowpages, etc. I'm not sure if BrightLocal/Whitespark offers on the phone assistance for phone verification or not like we do but Yext just bypasses it via their commercial agreements with directories.

Hope that helps!
 

consultant

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Well I just discovered BrightLocal's Citation Search is unreliable. I thought the Citation Report looked a bit empty off the top of my head. So I took two different locations and ran them though BrightLocal and TribeLocal. The following directories are the directories searched by BOTH platforms that TribeLocal found the citation and BrightLocal didn't. This is fairly serious as it means users could inadvertently spend time on submitting to directories they are already on if BL is giving them a false indication their citation is missing. Again, this is two different locations and I looked at other reports for other of my locations and my competitors locations and it's not an isolated issue for just certain locations.

Missing on BL Report but found on TL report:

GoogleLocal
Foursquare
Kudzu
DexKnows
Chamber of Commerce
2FindLocal
Brownbook
CitySquares
 

JoshuaMackens

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Well I just discovered BrightLocal's Citation Search is unreliable. I thought the Citation Report looked a bit empty off the top of my head. So I took two different locations and ran them though BrightLocal and TribeLocal. The following directories are the directories searched by BOTH platforms that TribeLocal found the citation and BrightLocal didn't. This is fairly serious as it means users could inadvertently spend time on submitting to directories they are already on if BL is giving them a false indication their citation is missing. Again, this is two different locations and I looked at other reports for other of my locations and my competitors locations and it's not an isolated issue for just certain locations.

Missing on BL Report but found on TL report:

GoogleLocal
Foursquare
Kudzu
DexKnows
Chamber of Commerce
2FindLocal
Brownbook
CitySquares

To be fair, tools like that are extremely difficult to code. But I understand the frustration.
 

consultant

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To be fair, tools like that are extremely difficult to code. But I understand the frustration.

I would not disagree with that statement based on 30 years of software development experience myself. But all that means is TribeLocal has better coders than BrightLocal. BL though in my opinion shouldn't be including directories in their report they can produce accurate results for in a reliable and consistent fashion.

I know a lot of people probably use BL so my findings are probably a bit unsettling to say the least. I invite anyone to doubt the issue to start a Tribelocal trial account and compare the reports for your locations yourself. I tried a third location test for a different business and only one was missing on NL (Local.com)
 
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Hi @Consultant,

Matt here from BrightLocal - yikes sorry to hear about the issue with your CitationTracker report, that sounds very frustrating.

If there's that many listings missing it sounds like a bug or an issue with the report settings - I'm keen to dig into this for you. Please could you email me a link to your report and I'll dig in and share my feedback with you directly?

My email is mathew AT brightlocal DOT com
Thanks

Matt
 
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Jim Froling

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I haven't found a provider yet that takes all of the work off my plate. I employ #Brightlocal (highly recommended), Moz Local (liked it better when @David Mihm ran it via #GetListed.org, and #Whitespark (though they might poach my clients).

At the end of the day, we have to verify the work of our "service providers".

They are, after all, just a tool. It is up to the craftsman to perfect it.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I haven't found a provider yet that takes all of the work off my plate. I employ #Brightlocal (highly recommended), Moz Local (liked it better when @David Mihm ran it via #GetListed.org, and #Whitespark (though they might poach my clients).

At the end of the day, we have to verify the work of our "service providers".

They are, after all, just a tool. It is up to the craftsman to perfect it.

Hey Jim, we might be just what you're looking for.

We're more expensive but we handle everything from the listing optimization, double checking of information, etc. all the way down to phone verifications and true dupe removal.
 
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